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Absorption:It is a gas-liquid mass transfer operation in which liquid solvent is
contacted with gas mixture for differential dissolution of one or more
components of gas and provide a solution of them in liquid.

Uses of absorption:1- Purification of gases (HS from HCs).

2-Separation of gases (separation of dry gas [C,C] from LNG [C,C].
3- Production of useful liquid product:HCL (g) + HO (liq) HCL (liq)
2NO(g) + HO (liq) HNO + HNO2
SO (g) + HO (liq) HSO

:-Physical vs chemical absorption

There are 2 types of absorption processes: physical
absorption and chemical absorption, depending on
whether there is any chemical reaction between the
solute water
and the
oils are used as
absorbents, no significant chemical reactions occur
between the absorbent and the solute, and the
process is commonly referred to as physical
. absorption
When aqueous sodium hydroxide (a strong base) is
used as the absorbent to dissolve an acid gas,
absorption is accompanied by a rapid and
irreversible neutralization reaction in the liquid
phase and the process is referred to as chemical
. absorption or reactive absorption

More complex examples of chemical absorption are

processes for absorbing CO2 and H2S with
aqueous solution of mono -ethanolamine (MEA),
di -ethanolamine (DEA), di-ethyleneglycol (DEG)
or tri-ethyleneglycol (TEG), where a reversible
chemical reaction takes place in the liquid phase.
:-Chemical reactions can increase
.the rate of absorption- 1
.increase the absorption capacity of the solvent- 2
increase selectivity to a certain components of the-3
gas, and convert a hazardous chemical to a safe
. compound

:-Physical absorption

:-Chemical absorption

:Applications of absorption
Hydrogen sulfide(H2S) is removed from hydrocarbon gases by washing with
.alkaline solution (Amines)
Washing ethanol vapors from carbon dioxide from molasses fermentor tanks
.with water to remove ethanol
Acetone can be recovered from acetone-air mixture by passing the gas stream
.into water in which acetone is dissolved while air is passed out
Carbon dioxide present in air is absorbed by sodium hydroxide (NaOH
.solution) in which chemical absorption takes place
. Nitrogen oxides are absorbed in water to give nitric acid
Removal of ammonia coming from coke ovens by water

Choice Of Solvent For Gas Absorption

The factors to be considered are
High absorption power
Which means that gas solubility should be high in
the solvent, which results in increasing the rate of
absorption and decreasing the quantity of solvent
. required
Highly Selective
The selectivity of solvent must be high in which
.solvent dissolve one and leave the others
Easy to recover
. Which means easily to be regenerated

Low volatility
The solvent should have a low vapor pressure to reduce loss of
solvent in the gas leaving the absorption column.
Small viscosity
Low viscosity is preferred for reasons of rapid absorption rates,
improving flooding characteristics in packed column, low pressure
drops on pumping and good heat transfer characteristics.
The solvent should be inexpensive, so that losses are not costly, and
should be readily available.
Other properties
Non-toxic, Non-flammable, Non-corrosive, Chemically stable, low
freezing point

Absorption Equipments
(A) Plate Towers:1-Multistage contact.
2-High separation , high capacity.
3-Relatively large diameter.
4-Cooling is done by
providing the plate
with cooling coils.
5- High pressure drop.
6- Easy to be clean.

(B) Packed Columns

1-Differential contact.
2-Used for highly
corrosive materials.
3- Small diameters <70-80 cm
4-Not easy to clean.
5-Packing materials are
made from(ceramics ,
bricks, wood, gravels,
stones , steel ,)

To increase surface area of contact between the-6

two phases in packed columns, make more than
one section which increase the performance of
. the tower
cooling is done by dividing- 7
the column
To many sections
out side the column
as seen in the opposite(
). Figure

(C) Spray Column:1- Continuous contact.

2- Low pressure drop.
3- Low efficiency.
4- Low cost(empty).
5- Gas phase controlling.
6- Considered as one stage.

:-Wetted wall Column( D)

Single tube wetted wall
column used in labs for
measuring mass transfer

Equilibrium Relations:Mass transfer between G/L depends

highly on the equilibrium
between G/L. Different gases and
liquids yield separate solubility
curves , which must be
determined experimentally for
each system. If the equilibrium
pressure of a gas at a given
liquid concentration is high, as
case (A) in the opposite figure,
the gas is said to be relatively
insoluble in liquid , while if its
low, as for curve (B) , the
solubility is said to be high.

Effect of temperature on the

:-equilibrium curve
The solubility of any gas is
influenced by the temperature. If
the temperature of the system
at equilibrium is raised , the
solubility of a gas decreases . As
shown in the opposite figure as
temperature increases for the
same solute (gas) the solubility
decreases from (10-60)oC and
.the absorption power decreases
Absorption process is usually
accompanied by evolution of
heat. So It is necessary to fit
coolers to the absorber to keep
.its temperature sufficiently low

Effect of temperature on the

equilibrium curve

Types of Equilibrium Relations :For dilute concentrations of many gases the

equilibrium relationship is given by Henrys
law which relates the partial pressure
developed by a dissolved solute(A) in a
liquid solvent (S) by the following equation:-

PA = H x A

Where:H is Henrys constant expressed as kPa /

mole fraction solute in liquid,
PA is the partial pressure of solute in kPa,
xA is the mole fraction of the gas in liquid

Henrys law holds very well when

the partial pressure of the solute
is less than atmospheric. Above
atmospheric pressure , H may be
independent of the partial
The variation of H with temperature
.is strongly nonlinear function
For ideal systems Raoults law is
PA = PoA xA
PA , is the partial pressure of solute
.PoA , is the vapor pressure of solute
xA , is the mole fraction of the
.solute in the liquid phase

But if we increase the

solvent ,the slope of
the operating line goes
up and the driving
force increases which
means small number
required( also small
of transfer
units). This means that
optimization for liquid
amount as shown in
.the opposite figure
We have to use L/G >
( L/G)Min

:-Analytical method( B)
Kremser equation represents an
analytical solution to a classical
separation problem of N ideal
equilibrium stages concerned
with countercurrent gas and
liquid flow. The equilibrium and
operating relations are assumed
.to be linear
By using the data of the key
component and by calculating
the absorption factor
(A=L/m*G) we can calculate
number of stages from the
following chart. After
calculating N we can calculate
the recovery for each other

:-Stripping (desorption)
Stripping is the opposite of
absorption and involves the
removal of dissolved gases
.in liquid by stripping agent
-:Purpose of stripping
.recover the dissolved solute - 1
.recover the solvent- 2
to recover both solute and-3
Usually absorption is
followed by stripping or
. desorption
The most commonly used
.stripping agent is steam

:-Good stripping agent must be

.easily condensed- 1
.easily separated from the material stripped- 2
:-Equilibrium relations
)As absorption(

The following points

must be taken into
:- consideration
Operating line is under-1
.the equilibrium curve
slope of the operating- 2
L/G= (Yin-Yout / Xout-Xin )=
As (L/G) decreases, G- 3
increases , operating line
goes down, driving force
increases, N decreases
.and NTU decreases
As (L/G) increases, G -4
decreases, operating line
goes up, driving force
decreases, N increases
and NTU increases, till
.we reach pinch point